HOWTO: Deploy software packages via GPO

One of the greatest advantages of having an Active Directory Domain is the possibility to deploy software packages via GPO (Group Policy Object). Software deployment is crucial in business environments to save time and money. Microsoft not only gives us a simple way to deploy software, but also provides a quick solution to uninstall it when we don’t need it anymore.

1. Create a new GPO:

   - Open the Group Policy Management panel and create a new GPO

2. Give it a name:

   - Give it a name

3. Edit this policy:

   - Let’s edit this policy

4. Right-click Software installation:

   - Navigate through the path Computer Configuration\Policies\Software Settings and right-click Software installation. Select New –> Package

5. Specify a network path:

   - Specify a network path (the domain users must be able to access the file) containing the package you want to deploy

6. Select deployment method:

   - We are setting up a Computer Configuration policy, so we can only assign the application and not publish it. Assigned applications will be installed at the first reboot or policy update while published applications will be available for the users to be installed or removed. For this reason, you can only publish application to users. The Advanced option simply make us able to edit the application deployment Properties

7. Use default settings:

   - Default settings are fine

8. Deplyment set up:

   - Deplyment set up

9. To remove the application:

   - To remove the application, right-click on it and select Remove

10. Select removal method:

   - You can choose to remove the software or simply forbid new installations

Also consider using Action1 to install software remotely if:
- You need to perform this action on multiple (hundreds or even thousands) computers simultaneously.
- Some of your endpoints are laptops not connected to corporate network at all times.

Action1 is a cloud-based platform for software deployment, software/hardware inventory, patch management, endpoint configuration and more. It is free with basic functionality.

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